Synthesis and characterization of P-doped amorphous and nanocrystalline Si

Jialing Wang, Shreyashi Ganguly, Sabyasachi Sen, Nigel D. Browning, Susan M. Kauzlarich

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11 Scopus citations


Intentional impurity doping lies at the heart of the silicon technology. The dopants provide electrons or holes as necessary carriers of the electron current and can significantly modify the electric, optical and magnetic properties of the semiconductors. P-doped amorphous Si (a-Si) was prepared by a solid state and solution metathesis reaction of a P-doped Zintl phase precursor, NaSi0.99P0.01, with an excess of NH4X (X = Br, I). After the salt byproduct was removed from the solid state reaction, the a-Si material was annealed at 600 °C under vacuum for 2 h, resulting in P-doped nanocrystalline Si (nc-Si) material embedded in a-Si matrix. The product from the solution reaction also shows a combination of nc-Si embedded in a-Si; however, it was fully converted to nc-Si after annealing under argon at 650 °C for 30 min. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) show the amorphous nature of the P-doped Si material before the annealing and the nanocrystallinity after the annealing. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy shows that the P-doped Si material surface is partially capped by H and O or with solvent. Electron microprobe wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) as well as energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) confirm the presence of P in the Si material. 29Si and 31P solid state magic-angle-spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) spectroscopy data provide the evidence of P doping into the Si structure with the P concentration of approximately 0.07 at.%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank US DOE Center of Excellence for Chemical Hydrogen Storage and DOE Grant DE-FG02-03ER46057 and NSF CHE-1026672 for the financial support, Brian Joy for the help with EPMA experiments and useful discussions, Dr. Ping Yu for the help with the solid state MAS NMR experiments and useful discussions.


  • Amorphous silicon
  • Metathesis
  • NaSi
  • Nanocrystalline silicon
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticles
  • Silicide
  • Silicon
  • Zintl phase


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